Catering giant Compass has boosted hopes for full-year sales after a strong second half but said its UK business was still lagging behind.
The Surrey-based firm, which provides catering at famous venues including Chelsea Football Club and the Wimbledon tennis championships, reported revenue growth of 5% in the six months to September.
The company, which serves 4bn meals annually in 50 countries, said this compared with a 0.4% rise in the first half, leading Compass to lift expectations for revenue growth in the year to September to 3% from 2.5%.
Compass, the world's largest food service company, said UK revenue growth is expected to fall, but there has been an improvement in the second half .
Compass said UK sales had improved in the face of "challenging economic conditions continuing to impact like-for-like revenues in the business and industry and sports and leisure sectors".
Overall growth has been driven by new business in North America, such as contracts with Oracle and Amazon, and in Australia and Brazil.
Keith Bowman, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said it was a "solid" update that showed a "progressive performance".
But he added: "On the downside, rising food costs will need to be monitored for their potential impact on profit margins."